Registered Traveller Service offers faster clearance at airports

22 Dec 14

UNITED KINGDOM

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The U.K. has implemented Registered Traveller Service for nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the United States who frequently fly to Heathrow or Gatwick airports. 

What does the change mean? Nationals of the countries listed above who are approved for the service can avoid queues at the airport and will not have to fill out a landing card upon arriving in the U.K. 

  • Implementation timeframe: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: The service does not affect visas or permits; it makes international travel to Heathrow and Gatwick airports easier.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the U.S. who frequently use Heathrow or Gatwick airports.
  • Impact on processing times: The service allows passengers to avoid wait times at the airport, expediting entry into the U.K.
  • Business impact: Registered Traveller Service is a good option for business people who travel frequently to the U.K. through Heathrow or Gatwick airports.
  • Next steps: Those interested in Registered Traveller Service need to obtain an invitation code before applying and should be aware that there is already a waiting list to obtain an invitation. Those who wish to be added to the waiting list can contact RegisteredTravellerGeneralEnquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

Background: Registered Traveller Service allows nationals of the countries listed above to use ePassport gates at Heathrow and Gatwick airports (provided they have biometric passports). At Heathrow, the service allows travelers to use the U.K./EU channel; at Gatwick, it allows travelers to use the Registered Traveller lane.

Once applicants have obtained an invitation code, they can apply online on the U.K.’s Registered Traveller Service website. The application costs £50, even if it is not successful. Applicants need a passport and debit or credit card to complete the application. Decisions are made within 10 working days. The service is initially valid for a year and is renewable.

BAL Analysis: Registered Traveller Service is a good option for frequent business travelers, as it allows them to save time traveling to the U.K. for the relatively inexpensive cost of £50 per year.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact uk@balglobal.com.

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